Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow. Unrestrained production of plasma cells results in toxic proteins that damage the kidneys. The condition most often affects people over the age of 60 and is more common in African-Americans. The cause of the disease is unclear. Early detection is essential for recovery, but unfortunately, multiple myeloma is hard to diagnose because the symptoms vary widely between patients, and are common to many other diseases.
People with multiple myeloma often experience bone problems including pain throughout the chest and back. The legs and arms may also ache, but this is less common. Many also develop osteoporosis, a loss of bone mass that results in bones that break more easily. Even a minor impact from a low height, such as a trip or fall, can result in a fracture. Up to 90% of people with multiple myeloma will develop bone damage from the disease.
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